See a Modern Family Farmhouse That Can Pick Up and Move

See a Modern Family Farmhouse That Can Pick Up and Move


(bright acoustical music) – [Lewis Butler, Son] My
mother grew up on a farm in Southern California and
I used to work on that farm every summer for years. And as
a family, we’d go down there and spend quite a bit of time down there. Ironically, Mom growing
up on a farm made her want to live in the city. Dad
growing up in the city made him want to become a
farmer. So it was really his desire to go off and
have a farming property, that started to kind of create
this idea, and he felt that her family history was worth
honoring. So this property was purchased and they kind
of moved into it slowly. They started with a trailer.
Their friends would stay in tents. They’d come up on
Labor Day and go hunting. They’d just come up for
the weekend and hang out. And it was very informal.
In fact, it was kind of nice to see these people,
60, 70, 80 years old, being so informal on a farm. – [Lewis Butler, father] We
wanted to get out of a travel trailer. We were getting
older. This is 2005, about, a little later. And second,
if your son is an architect, you like having him build
a house. But we didn’t need a big house, so we decided
to build something that was less than 1000 square feet. – [Lewis Butler, Son] This
Winter’s Area and, in fact, the entire Sacramento
Valley is a very old farming community, and it’s
dotted with water towers. And the reason it’s dotted
with water towers, and these go back 150 years–is
that way back when, before there was power, and
you had windmills pulling water out of the ground, the
windmills would power pumps. The pumps would pump the
water up into the water tower and the tower would
store the water up high so you had water pressure
all day long until you pumped more water up to the top again. So that form, as an architectural form, has been in this area
for a long time. In fact, there is probably a dozen
within a few miles of here. Dad loved the idea of a water
tower. He came up with that idea from the first day of
thinking about the house and he never let that idea
go. And then it was a matter of, kind of colliding the
chicken shack form nicely with the water tower and we did
that in the terrace area. We also used the slanted walls
of the water tower in the roof of the shack form to
create some interesting geometric shapes. We were
not after a rustic concept. It is a little bit rustic on the outside. It’s really not at all
rustic on the inside. On the inside, it’s done with
very clean plywood details, no open beams, almost like
the interior of a boat, very sleek. And that was a
reinterpretation of the idea of a farm house in that it’s not
full of brick ‘n brack and funny details on the inside. It’s
really very clean and spare. Part of that is so that you
look through this very clean space and see the view outside,
which is a wonderful view of the crops and then the hills behind. – [Lewis Butler, Father] The
great thing for us has been that with the water tower, we
have the circular staircase that goes up. And so you can
go up there and look out at your land and have a beer. We
just didn’t think we needed a lot of space. As it turned out,
the house became so popular with the children and all that
so finally, when we had some more money, since the
price of tomatoes went up, we were able to build a little guest house of 600 square feet. – [Lewis Butler, Son] One of
the interesting things about this house and it’s, I think,
an incredibly practical aspect of the house, is that it
supported on two glulam beams. Here is one of the two. The
concrete piers are supported on 3×3 concrete pads that are
underground, and that gives the house earthquake stability.
Now, if we ever wanted to move this house, there are some
bolts right there on the metal bracket. We could remove the
beams from the concrete piers, a house-moving truck will come
in, pick up this house, and in a day or two, it could
be at another site. Which is actually a plan that we have
because there is a ranch nearby that we own that
someday, I think, will be the final site for this house. – [Lewis Butler, Father]
The forklift that picks up this house and takes it a
mile and a half down the road, I won’t be around to watch.
But it’s going to be a hell of a sight. – [Lewis Butler, Son] I
think it works great and, you know, I love the fact
that we’re not part of this McMansion craze where people
go up to the Napa Valley and they build a 15,000
square foot house because they want to, you know. That’s
not what we’re after at all. This is really about simple
living. It’s not about bringing the city to the farm. It’s
about leaving the city behind and really having just farm. (inspirational music)


84 thoughts on “See a Modern Family Farmhouse That Can Pick Up and Move

  1. Please make all your videos available on YouTube. I have a fast Internet connection and the www.houzz.com/houzztv videos pause to buffer. YouTube doesn't have this problem.

  2. This is so so simple and beautiful ! I would love to have a home just like this with the guest house connected. Are the architect plans available ?

  3. I love it, it's not too big and I like the sitting area in the water tower.
    The inside it's beautifully designed. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  4. it is sad how in singapore … most houses are already fixed and cant be changed … and that land is expensive .. whatever it is …. this is still an inspiration if i wanted houses in other countries

  5. Wise design. Would like to have seen the interior of the 600 sq. ft. home. We are planning to build an 800 sq. ft. retirement home once we find land. Looking forward to living in a smaller home.

  6. Excelente y bellΓ­sima adecuaciΓ³n e integraciΓ³n con la torre mirador y el entorno … Me encanta! …
    Simple is more!

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